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Golf - Wed, Oct. 11, 2017 - posted by Seth Preuss
Clarence DeVera sets up for a putt
Clarence DeVera sets up for a putt

PRESCOTT, AZ – Hope International traveled to the Phoenix area on Monday and Tuesday, Oct. 9 & 10, for the Co-Ed Invitational put on by Embry-Riddle (AZ) at the Antelope Hills Golf Club. Both the HIU men's team and Keilee Bessho of the women's team competed and combined to produce a pair of top ten individual finishes on the course.

Bessho played as an individual for HIU on the women's side of the tournament and led the entire field after two rounds of play, turning in cards of 78 and 73 in rounds one and two to grab the lead. Bessho's second round of 73 was the second-best score of any round for the entire tournament field. Her final round of 82 dropped her out of the top five finishers, but her overall score of 233 (+17 to par) for the tournament put her in seventh overall. Bessho's was the best score of any GSAC golfer in the tournament for the women.

On the men's side, Clarence DeVera played brilliantly for the Royals and finished four strokes off the lead in second overall out of 56 golfers. DeVera would finish five under par for the tournament after rounds of 70, 69, and 69 again in the final trip around the course for his best collegiate finish to date – his final card of 208 ties his best 54-hole finish and his second-place finish is a personal best for the founding member of HIU men's golf. Additionally, DeVera managed to out-pace all GSAC golfers in the field by 12 strokes for the tournament, an average of four fewer per round.

Erick Liscio finished 15 over par through 54 holes and averaged 74 strokes per round with cards of 78, 74, and 76 for the tournament. Liscio ended the tournament one stroke better than teammate Chris Feltman with a final card of 228 in 26th place overall.

Feltman kept pace with Liscio and was consistent in his play with two rounds of 77 and one of 75 for the tournament, finishing at 16 over par with 229 strokes in 27th behind Liscio.

TJ Kaczan played his first fall round for HIU and turned in two rounds of 79 and one card of 82 in his second trip around the greens for a final tally of 240 at 27 over. Jeffrey Holsman rounded out the Royals' tournament team with rounds of 79, 89, and 85 for a final tally of 252.

The Royals combined to place sixth in the field of nine teams, missing a tie for fifth with Southwest (NM) by a single stroke. HIU was just six strokes away from equaling Arizona Christian's fourth-place finish or seven shy of beating out all GSAC teams for the best conference showing at the tournament.

The HIU men now have a week to practice before hosting former GSAC rival Biola for a friendly practice round next week – the Royals finished five strokes ahead of their former conference foes in the ERAZ Invite and will get to test their skills head-to-head once again in a week's time.

The Royals' next countable competition will be at the PCH Invite hosted by GSAC foe Menlo on Nov. 7 & 8 at the Bayonet and Blackhorse Golf Course.